Korie and Willie Robertson, who are best known as reality TV personalities in A&E’s Duck Dynasty, opened up recently about parenting a biracial child. The couple was joined by Love & Hip Hop stars Yandy and Mendeecees Harris, who are Black, for the discussion which was filmed as part of a new Facebook Watch series, “At Home With the Robertsons.”
The Robertsons adopted a biracial son, Will Robertson Jr., after being told they would have to wait longer to adopt. Will also appears in the new video to discuss what it’s like being raised by white parents.
Korie and Willie Robertson Spoke to Yandy and Mendeecees Harris About Race. See How it Went!
Korie explained in the video that they did not think about race until Duck Dynasty became a hit for A&E. With the popularity of the show, the couple began to read comments left by fans who would write things like, “Wait. Who’s the Black kid? Who does he belong to?”
The comments directed at their 10-year-old son at the time, forced his parents to think more deeply about race in America.
“When ‘Duck Dynasty’ hit, when we were on television and you had all these racist people on there making all kind of ugly comments,” Willie Robertson explained. “For us, it was weird because then now he can see that.”
As Willie recalled in the video, they were told it would take a couple of years to adopt unless they were interested in a biracial child. He said he and Korie were told that “those are the hardest ones to place in the South.”
Will Jr., who is now 19-years-old and attending college, told those gathered for the conversation that he had been one of the few Black kids in his class.
“I would look myself in the mirror and be like, ‘Oh, I’m just a little bit darker,'” he explained. “I’m just a little bit tanner.”
The Harrisses spoke to the family about issues including unconscious bias, the need to discuss what to do if the police pulled the younger Robertson over, and the value of acknowledging his race.
“I think love should be what connects a family,” Yandy Harris told the teenager. “But I also think it’s important for wherever you come from to know your history and also to know your roots.”
“Your heritage is mixed so it can’t just die just because you’ve been brought up in a different place,” Yandy tells Will Jr. in the video. “You have to be able to pass down your heritage as well.”
Korie explained that she had made an effort to point out other people she thought could be role models for her son who also looked like her son. She brought up the inauguration of President Obama as something she used as a teachable moment.
After learning a lot about race and raising a Black child from the Harrises, the Robertsons then taught their guests to use their signature duck calls. Overall the video is a wonderful look at two different families coming together to discuss their differences even though they actually share a lot in common. We could all use more of that these days.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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